Fatal Fall Highlights Tree Removal Safety After the Storm - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Fatal Fall Highlights Tree Removal Safety After the Storm

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North Augusta, SC -

Cranes, chippers, and chainsaws- big equipment for a big job.

"Bucket trucks can weigh 15 tons, trees can weigh more, sections of trees can weigh more than the trucks," Grif Lee, who works for Kervin Brothers Stump & Tree explains.

Wednesday a crane was required to haul out a North Augusta oak that was more than 75 feet tall.

"They were massive trees, been here before I was born," Mark Baynham, the home owner says.  "This was a job for professionals, not for someone like myself."

The professionals he called, say that he made the right call, but that some home owners don't.

"[They say], 'I wanna save some money, don't wanna wait for a tree guy, wait for the company,'" Lee says.  "That's a good way to get hurt.  The money isn't a factor if you can't go to work, be a father, be a son."

But even for professionals, with harnesses and helmets, clearing storm damage can be deadly.  Earlier this week an Aiken tree remover was killed while working in a bucket truck.

"It goes to show you could go to work and not come home one day," Jeff Kervin, the owner of Kervin Brothers Stump & Tree says.

"It's a risk we're willing to take, but nobody wants to orphan their children or make their momma bury their son," Lee adds.

Working Wednesday, the Kervin crew in North Augusta kept that in mind.

"It's scary," Lee says.  "You gotta know where it's going, you gotta have a game plan, and you gotta have an escape plan."

"You go out there and so something every day and it seems like repetition and you get relaxed, it's a real eye opener," Kervin says.

They say they start with safety everyday, but this is just another reminder that when it comes to safety-

"You can't have enough of it, you can never be too safe," Lee says.

And for the home owner, being safe means letting someone else do the heavy lifting.

"I could do a lot of things, but this was out of my league," Baynham says.

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